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clean globe lights 1

Recently, I’ve had several readers contact me about the globe lights that are suspended above the kitchen island. I thought it would be helpful to address the questions in a post since others might have similar queries. The lights are the 11″ clear globe pendants from West Elm. I love how they punctuate the island. Since purchasing them 3 years ago, they’re now available in a larger size (14″) and a different finish (milk finish with antique brass base).

One of the most popular questions I receive regarding the lights are “How do you clean them?” A few times a year, I give them a deep cleaning. Here’s what I do…

clean globe light 3

1 – I carefully remove the glass globes and clean them one at a time. The globe separates from the base with the twist of two screws. A screwdriver isn’t necessary.

2 – I place the globe in a plastic laundry basket in the kitchen sink to keep it from rolling into the sink or countertop and shattering. (You could do the same thing in a tub if your sink isn’t large enough.) *BONUS* – It cleans your laundry basket at the same time! #twobirdsonestone

3 – Using a microfiber cloth, I wash the globe, inside and out, with warm water and dish soap to remove grease and dust.

4 – I rinse the globe, inside and out, with warm water. I dry the globe with a streak-free, lint-free cloth.

FYI – My grandma, who is the queen of clean, gifted me the microfiber and streak-free cloths several years ago. THEY ARE THE BOMB. Especially the white ones. I use them to clean windows (house & car), mirrors, the TV screen, the computer screen, etc. I don’t use any cleaner – just water! And they’re reusable which makes them eco-friendly and cost-effective. I’ve had mine for 5+ years. They are machine washable – just be sure to avoid fabric softener!

clean globe lights 5

To clean the bases, I use just a tad of Bar Keepers Friend (less than $2) with water on one of the green microfiber cloths. I’m careful not to scrub so hard that I leave scratches. Rinse well. It works like a charm. I use it to clean the canopies (seen on the ceiling in the reflection), too. I have to stand on a counter stool on the island in order to reach them but, hey, whatever works. Sorry, no circus act photos ;)

clean globe lights 6

I slip the globe back on the base, tighten the screws and, voilà, a crystal clear light! Here you can see the difference between a dirty (on the left) and clean (on the right) globe. World. Of. Difference.

clean globe lights 2

I should probably do it more often but I average ~4 of these deep cleanings per year. On a more regular basis, I wipe the globes down with vinegar + water on one of the green microfiber cloths then follow up with a little water on a streak-free cloth.

I’m always afraid I’m going to break one of the lights when I’m removing / cleaning them. Every time I clean them I think, “I should order a replacement…just in case…while they’re still available.” But I never do.

Everett came home from school after I cleaned the lights this week and said, “Hey! You got new shiny lights!” That same night Steve was all “Whoa. These lights are extra bright.” Yep, they were that dirty.

Any deep cleaning going on at your house this month?

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking



Just last night I was laying in bed thinking I’m in the mood to spring clean. Attack the curtains, get the corners, open the windows & air out the house. After being home for 7 weeks with a toddler & newborn the house needs it! And I officially have cabin fever.


I have these same globes in our kitchen. I was just thinking last night that they needed a good cleaning. It is embarrassing how dusty mine are. Perfect timing for this post! I owe you one. Also, good thinking on ordering a spare. Now if I can only get around to it…


Microfiber clothes are awesome! They’re so versatile, and I can finally clean my windows/mirrors without getting any streaks.


Ok, now you have me wondering (since I see it in the background of these photos) how you clean your stainless hood vent??
I’ve tried a few things, but sometimes I wonder if there is an easier way…?
Leah: )


The only thing I’ve found to clean glass & mirrors is crumpled up newspaper. Otherwise, no matter how hard I try I always get streaks. I am ordering those white cloths right NOW.
Microfiber cloths I have –
Newspaper is nice & free but I hate how dirty my hands get……………………..


I JUST discovered how amazing microfiber cloths are! I keep stockpiling them and use them for everything – they are a cleaning game-changer. This post is perfect because I have a 5-globe light fixture from CB2 and unfortunately, my husband and I did not think to remove the globes when we had our wood floors refinished. They are FILTHY. This post inspired me to clean them with my favorite new microfiber cloths!


Hi! You mentioned in your post that there are green and white cloths. The link you listed go to the white ones but now I’m curious about the green ones since you made it seem like they differ from the white ones?


This strikes me as the funniest thing ever to email a blogger about. How else would you clean them?! I suspect these readers just REALLY wanted to talk with you: )


Love these lights! Liked the before and after shot.


There is a link to the green ones under step #3. They are thicker and more absorbent than the white ones. They aren’t streak free but are great for deep cleaning and dusting.


Deep clean = Bar Keepers Friend + water + microfiber cloth. Maintenance clean = vinegar + water + microfiber cloth.


I hear you!


Have you tried clear light bulbs? I bet they would look great in your pendants.


What lightbulbs do you have in your pendants? We bought the industrial pendants from WE and have edison bulbs, but I find them too dim and the light is very yellow. Any suggestions?


I think I would be tempted to fold up a towel and put it on the bottom of the laundry basket incase the globe got away from me and it dropped. Less likely to break with a little cushion underneath.


I wouldn’t ever email her, but I have needed to clean mine for awhile and have thought “I wonder how Dana keeps hers clean?” haha So this post is for me! I love it! Combining this with the previous post about tackling under the sink, and I am getting inspired for some deep cleaning this weekend!


I see homes with “lamp shades” on kitchen lights and think, yuck. How would you ever clean them? I don’t have an industrial hood over my stove, so I thought that may be why I also need to clean my fixtures a few times a year- nice to know it isn’t just my house.


I think 4x a year is a totally respectable amount to clean them! When I was growing up, we had a glass light fixture above our kitchen table. I always thought it was frosted glass. It wasn’t. It was just really, really dirty. So, there’s that.


Haha! I always think I’m doing okay wiping them down every week or so…until I do the deep cleaning thing and realize how disgusting they actually were.


Nope. Not just your house! Steve makes hashbrowns, fried eggs and fried ham every morning on the stove. Drives me bonkers with all the grease!


So I don’t love the aesthetic of our bulbs. They are Philips EcoVantage 43W. I prefer the look of Edison-like bulbs. However, I do love the warm, bright light they put off. Function wins over form in the lightbulb department for me.


[…] post. Another housekeeping-related question that pops up in my inbox frequently (even more so than the globe light question) is “How do you clean your floors?” I try to clean them thoroughly every week but […]


I clicked on your link and ordered the microfiber cloth as I was reading this post. They were on my doorstep on Thursday! I didn’t open them until this afternoon. Just wanted to say I tried them out and they’re fantastic! I ran around the house like a crazy woman! Cleaned all mirrors, 4 TV screens, two computer monitor screens, iPad, iPhone, washer and dryer chrome trim … just about any and every thing I could think of, lol! They’re amazing. Thanks for sharing the link!


So glad you like them!


[…] cleaning-related posts: how I clean the globe lights, how I clean the wood […]


Great idea! Many people struggle when coming to clean these globe lights – yours look beautiful and shiny, well done!

[…] too modern for what’s going on in the rest of the space? My new favorite blogger at Housetweaking used three in her kitchen. The small one is currently $89 but there’s a 20% off coupon […]


i have a similar fixture but the globes do not separate from the base. Any suggestions for a “deeper clean” when the globe cannot be removed?


Hi! I’ve been admiring your kitchen island. Needing a butcher block top for my new kitchen. It needs to be super long and wide though– 88×35. Is yours that big? If so, where did you find it? Is it pricey? We’re considering getting one from Global Industries for just $350 and it’ll be unfinished.


We bought the top unfinished and finished it ourselves. You can read more about it here (including the size, cost and source)…



Question: how do you get your hand INSIDE the globe…I just bought very similar lights from Shades of Light and they are so dirty inside!


I turn mine “hole up” in the laundry basket in the sink to wash and rinse.


Are these globes glass or acrylic? Where did you find the replacement globes?


They are glass. I don’t have replacements but I’ve been thinking it wouldn’t hurt to grab another one while they’re still available at West Elm.


I JUST ordered these lights a week ago so it’s great to see how they look up (love them!).
Thank you for the great cleaning tip!
Susan http://www.themidlifefashionista.com